Shift card is one of best use cases for blockchain technology. When your friends say they don’t understand Bitcoin, just show them your Bitcoin debit card and that will go a long way towards their understanding of the revolutionary technology based on the blockchain.
Coinbase launched the first US Bitcoin debit card first in 24 states, allowing individuals to spend bitcoins online and offline at more than 38 million merchants globally. There are no fees on domestic transactions. Coinbase’s fee schedule is here.
Coinbase, based in San Francisco, has long been one of the most celebrated Bitcoin companies. The firm raised $75 million in 2015 in one financing round.
The future of Bitcoin is now with tools like Coinbase’s Shift Payments card. There are other debit card options available for Bitcoin, but Coinbase, as one of the most reputable companies in the Bitcoin space, inspires confidence and trust.
Coinbase introduced in the Shift Payments card, which connects to your Coinbase Bitcoin account after an easy sign up. If you already have a Coinbase account, it’s likely you’ve already gone through the reasonable anti-money laundering and know your customer procedures the company asks of applicants for the card. Your Coinbase account connects your checking account with your financial institution. This also allows you to buy and sell bitcoins instantly.
The company might ask for some additional information, such as address if they don’t already have it.
Then, you have a choice in which color card you can choose: purple, green. Shift Payments will automatically debit your Coinbase account.
My Shift Payments Card came within ten days and I was able to quickly activate it online. Once activated, I could then use Bitcoin to pay for anything – groceries, gas, movies, concerts and anything else you want. Anywhere Mastercard is accepted, Coinbase’s Shift Payments card is accepted. However, due to a 3% international fee, amd $2.350 fee for international ATMs, the card is best used within the United States. In the US, there is a $2.50 fee for ATM transactions. With a daily spending limit at $1,000, bitcoiners can now spend their bitcoins in real life and liberally. Plus, Shift can increase this limit upon further identification protocols.
Whenever the Shift Payments card is used, the user receives a receipt instantly detailing where the card was used and how much was spent. You can even get cash back at the grocery story, just as with any debit card.
Bitcoins do fluctuate in value, which makes this debit card different than any other debit card. When you swipe the card, you pay based on the price of Bitcoin according to Coinbase at that time.
While some might think this complicates the issue, fluctuating exchange rates is something many people all over the world deal with daily, especially those who live in border towns and border cities. For instance, many people live in Mexico and travel to the US for work or other engagements, so they regularly deal with two currencies – the peso and the dollar.
Users enjoys the consumer protections of any standard credit/debit card. Unlike with Bitcoin, chargebacks are possible with the Shift Card. Brian Armstrong, Coinbase CEO, believes it is important for this reason:
If you get paid in bitcoin (I do) or you’ve bought a bunch of bitcoin over time that has gone up in value, it is a way for you to spend it anywhere you want. Or get cash out of ATMs (sell it). That is a relatively small group of people today, but meaningful for them. I’ve been using my shift debit card over the past 3 months beta testing it, in the U.S. and various countries while traveling, and it is my primary card now. I used to just buy and hold bitcoin. Now I spend it every day. It doesn’t save you money (in fact could be worse than a rewards card), but if you’re already bought in to bitcoin in a big way, then this makes it usable in everyday life.
The Shift Card is a boon for Bitcoin adoption. Coinbase, by creating and issuing this card, becomes one of the companies most responsible for pushing Bitcoin into the mainstream. It’s likely that, as the Bitcoin price increases, as it has in recent weeks, demand for easy payment mediums in Bitcoin will increase, and Coinbase is at the forefront.
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